What Makes Dumaguete a Favorite Retirement Place for EXPATS

Dumaguete City, Philippines – Dubbed as the “place of gentle people,” Dumaguete City is a retirement haven for many expats. It made headlines in 2014 when Forbes Magazine named it fifth among seven of the best places to retire in the world. In 2019, the Philippine Retirement Agency, under the Department of Tourism, named Dumaguete as the best place to retire in the country, making it the first city in the Visayas area to be given the Best Retirement Area Deemed as Retiree-Friendly (RADAR) status.

So what makes this picturesque city a favorite among expats?

Cathedral of St Catherine of Alexandria in Dumaguete

Low Cost of Living

One of the main reasons why Dumaguete and the Philippines as a whole attract retirees from all over the world is the relatively cheap cost of living. Rent, utilities, and other living expenses come at just a fraction of their monthly pensions. They can live comfortably and will still have a lot of money to spare for other expenses.

Modern Healthcare Services

One of the most important criteria when looking for a place to retire is the availability of modern healthcare facilities in the area. Dumaguete has four major tertiary hospitals and a number of private hospitals that are well-equipped that can cater to any of their health needs.

Siliman University - Dumaguete City Travel Guide
Siliman University – Dumaguete City Travel Guide

Friendly Community

Dumaguete is not named the “place of gentle people” for nothing. The warm, kind and hospitable people of the city makes it easy for expats to love the place even more. In addition, International Living magazine ranked the Philippines number one in terms of “fitting-in” in 2018. This means that retirees make friends with the locals easily, English is widely spoken, and there is a great choice of activities available for them.


Geographically nestled between Cebu and the Mindanao islands, Dumaguete and the rest of Negros Oriental are rarely affected by the many typhoons that ravage the country each year. It is warm and sunny for most of the year, perfect for enjoying the scenic beauty the place has to offer.

Apo Island near Dumaguete City
Apo Island near Dumaguete City

Scenic beauty

Dumaguete is home to some of the most amazing beaches, old stone churches, and the famous Rizal Boulevard. Expats will never run out of places to see in their spare time.

Searching for the best Dumaguete City hotels and affordable flights? Check out our complete list of affordable hotels and resorts via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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